Treatment of localized prostate cancer with whole gland cryoablation (WGC) resulted in high rates of biochemical recurrence-free survival (BRFS) and excellent functional outcomes, according to the results of a retrospective study published in Cancer.

“The role of primary WGC as an alternative to radiation therapy or radical prostatectomy for definitive treatment of prostate cancer remains uncertain,” the authors wrote. The aim of this study was to evaluate outcomes among men with who underwent WGC for localized prostate cancer.

This retrospective study evaluated data from 260 men who received WGC at a single tertiary referral center between 2002 and 2019. The primary outcome was BRFS, and secondary endpoints included failure-free survival, metastasis-free survival, and adverse events. The median follow-up was 107 months.

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The median age of the cohort was 64 years; 70% of patients were White, 26.5% were Black, and 3.5% were identified as other. Median prostate-specific antigen value was 6.1 ng/mL.

No prostate cancer-related deaths were reported among patients in the cohort, and BRFS ranged from 97% at year 1 to 87% at year 9. A total of 13.5% of patients experienced a biochemical recurrence.

Treatment failure occurred among 77 patients, and rates of failure-free survival ranged from 98% at year 1 to 71% at year 9. 

Few patient (3.8%) developed metastatic disease, and metastasis-free survival ranged from 100% at year 1 to 97% at year 7.

Functional outcomes after WGC were excellent, with stress urinary incontinence occurring in 2% of patients.  No change in the Median International Index of Erectile Function score was reported by patients after undergoing. There were no reports of fistula, and grade 2 or higher adverse events were reported among 2.3% of patients.

The authors concluded that “WGC of the prostate can achieve excellent oncological and functional outcomes in men with localized Pca cancer at the 10-year mark.” They added that “[p]rimary WGC may be a good option for men who desire to preserve urinary continence and have an excellent oncologic outcome.”


Tan WP, Kotamarti S, Chen E, et al. Oncological and functional outcomes of men undergoing primary whole gland cryoablation of the prostate: a 20-year experience. Cancer. Published online September 15, 2022. doi:10.1002/cncr.34458

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor